The Janome Memory Craft 500E was designed as an update and replacement for the very reliable Janome Memory Craft 350E. It’s not often that a sewing machine dealer gets truly excited about a new machine.

Even before the Janome Memory Craft 500E embroidery only machine was delivered to Sunshine Sewing and Quilting in Margate, Florida, store owner, Fay Nichol, was buzzing about this new acquisition. She even admitted to me that she had been “waiting for this machine for years”.

At A Glance

Janome Memory Craft 500E

Janome Memory Craft 500E

Embroidery arm

Embroidery arm is permanently mounted

The Janome Memory Craft 500E doesn’t look anything at all like its predecessor – the 350E. The 500E has a large full color touch screen. An embroidery arm is permanently mounted on the machine bed. It is designed in such a way that embroidery hoops are very easily snapped into place and removed.

There is a start/stop button on the machine head next to the thread cut button. A menu icon on the touch screen enables the user to gain access to the on board designs, which includes a monogram and embroidery fonts and border designs.

The Janome Memory Craft 500E has a scratch resistant surface, a major advantage over those machines that are made with inferior, hard plastic materials.

Start/stop button

Start/stop button

There are bright LED lights, a USB port and a slot for insertion of floppy discs, enabling people who own the Janome Memory Craft 350E to continue to use the software they invested in to continue to use it on the updated 500E.


  • Maximum embroidery size: 7.9” x 11”
  • 160 built-in designs
  • 6 fonts for monogramming
  • 2 and 3 letter monogramming
  • Auto return post thread break
  • Automatically centers designs
  • On-screen editing

    Ability to edit on a computer and transfer to the machine via USB

    • Enlarge/reduce
    • Rotate
    • Flip
    • Drag and drop
    • Arc
    • Combine
    • Copy and paste
    • Grouping
    • Corner layout
    • Single color sewing
    • Zoom
    • 4 Way mirror imaging
  • Lock out key
  • Ability to edit on a computer and transfer to the machine via USB
  • Advanced needle threader
  • Advanced bobbin threader
  • Programmable stitch skip feature
  • Shift images by .5 degree increments
  • Ability to combine design and borders
  • Enlarge or decrease image size by 20%
  • Digitizer enabled
  • 2 Position presser foot lift
  • Automatically ties off and cuts thread before jumping to another part of the design
  • Ability to convert any embroidery design from multi-color to single color

Working on the Janome Memory Craft 500E

color touch screen

Color touch screen

The Janome Memory Craft 500E has one of the simplest, most user friendly threading systems available on a sewing machine of any type.

Once the machine is threaded and the bobbin put into place, selecting a stitch option is as easy as first touching the menu button and then scrolling through the design options until the desired design is identified.

Embroidery designs are categorized by hoop size in the menu. It is possible to combine designs, insert borders and to customize designs in a number of ways.

It is not possible, however to increase or decrease embroidery designs more than 20% above or below the original dimensions.

During the course of this review, I sampled several different designs, and options for placement of designs, insertion of borders and programming multi-color designs to be executed with a single color thread. Watching the various designs as they were stitched out was an interesting experience.

With each design created during this review, I observed that the sewing speed varied with the complexity of the design, that the Janome Memory Craft 500E runs smoothly, quietly and although I noticed a little vibration, I believe it is due to the fact that the machine was place on a folding work table.

Perfect design

Perfect design

I cannot help but suspect that when mounted onto a proper sewing table, there would not be much vibration at all, if any. I also observed that each design, whether single or multi-color, was perfect in every way.


  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Denim
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers


Standard accessories:

  • Screw driver
  • Screwdriver key
  • 6 Spool caps [2 large/2 medium/ 2 small]
  • Oil dispenser
  • Lint brush
  • Scissors
  • Extra spool pin
  • Stylus
  • Needles
  • Bobbins
  • 4 Embroidery hoops
    • 2 Rectangle – 7.9″ x 11″ and 5.5” x 7.9”
    • 2 Square – 5.5” x 5.5” and 7.9” x 7.9”
  • USB cable
  • Owner’s manual
  • Instructional DVD
  • Soft dust cover
  • Extra wide extension table
  • Anti-slip sticker
  • 8 Clamps

Optional accessories:

  • Rectangle Hoop – 1.5” x 5.5”
  • 9 Piece Scissor Kit
  • Specialized Bobbin
  • High tension Bobbin Holder for Embroidery
  • Metal bobbins
  • Plastic Bobbins
  • Brush Out Embroidery Kit
  • Extra Large Foot Controller
  • Horizontal Spool Holder
  • Needle Threader
  • Needles
  • Pincushion
  • Seam ripper
  • 5 Thread spool stand


After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Service by sewing machine repair professional

Tying Off The Loose Ends

The Janome Memory Craft 500E is a very good embroidery only machine. It is definitely capable of rendering excellent embroidery projects, executed perfectly in every way.

My concern, however, is that the user is limited in options as to size. Designs created for specific use in the large hoop cannot be altered or adjusted to fit the small hoops and vice versa.

On the other hand, I like the way designs can be altered, combined and manipulated in other ways. I especially like the ease with which a multi-color design is converted to a single color pattern.

Multi-color design

Multi-color design

Working with the easy to follow threading guide, the advanced needle threading and bobbin winding systems makes preparing to work on the Janome Memory Craft 500E a snap, so getting down to the real business of creating embroidery designs is as fast as can be.

When it comes to the quality of finished embroidered designs, the Janome Memory Craft 500E cannot be beat. I like the ease with which it is operated and I like the way designs are combined, moved and executed.

I do, however, have a problem with the fact that anyone who chooses this machine is limited in their choices as to how large or small a design or combination of designs could be. With all of the other major advantages to owning the Janome Memory Craft 500E, I cannot help but wonder why the manufacturer decided to tie he user’s hands like this.

In my opinion, an embroidery machine as excellent in every other way as the Janome Memory Craft 500E is restricting its own capabilities far too much by not making it possible for users to use any hoop to create any one of the 160 designs.

The Janome Memory Craft is a good choice for anyone who is new to machine embroidery. I do not, however, recommend its use by anyone who is new to sewing altogether.

Before taking on the task of working on an embroidery only machine, it is necessary in my opinion for the user to already have a thorough knowledge and understanding of basic sewing machine operation.


Quality of finished embroidered designs

Because of the issue with sizing of designs, I hesitate to recommend the 500E for someone who is an avid machine embroiderer. If machine embroidery is a major part of an individual’s sewing practice, limiting themselves like that could be a definite turn off.

If, however, machine embroidery is something that an individual enjoys engaging in, and is not discouraged or dissuaded by the limitations of having to restrict their creativity to the parameters of the built in design constraints, I believe the Janome Memory Craft 500E would be the perfect choice.

Its sturdy construction, solid feel and scratch resistant outer body are certainly advantages that may not be available on other embroidery only machines.

Anyone who is in the market for a new embroidery only machine should definitely take a close look at the Janome Memory Craft 500 before deciding to make a final purchase.

While the Janome Memory Craft 500E may not be for every machine embroidery enthusiast, there is definitely a place for it in lots of sewing rooms the world over.

Janome Memory Craft 500E Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
Stitch quality
Ease of use
  • On-screen editing
  • Limited size of embroidery designs
4.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (11 Votes)

20 Responses

    • Roberta

      There are other companies that make rolling totes for large sewing machines. I have the 11000se and was able tofind sonthing for it easily.

    • Shelley

      I just picked up the Janome 500E Trolley! $199.00 seems to be the average price

  1. Jean

    I can’t imagine that you can’t use embroidery software either from Janome or most anyone else and break up or reconfigure large designs. Perhaps your comment, repeated a few times, pertains to designs that are built into the machine. I have a Janome 350E and Embird software and do whatever I want with my designs and sew them on my machine. But it would be foolish to try to reduce a huge design to a small hoop size. And Cari was correct, they haven’t had floppy disc slots in machines for years. Mine has a compact flash card slot but that isn’t at all the same.

    • Lisa

      Jean. I am shopping for an embroidery machine. I currently own janome 10000. But since it is outdated I am looking for just an embroidery. I am deciding between this or the baby loc flourish.

  2. MJ

    I think you’re a little bit off with the maintenance info. The manual says to oil the machine monthly if you use it regularly, and that — given the amount of places you need to oil (some of them in very hard-to-reach places), along with the size of the machine to pick/tilt up and move around — is no easy feat.

    While I love the machine – it really is amazing, I wish I had known that when comparing it to a similarly hoop-sized Brother competitor that doesn’t require any oiling at all… I may have made a different choice.

  3. Alice Rosanski

    I am looking for an embroidery machine to embroider labels for my quilts along with an image or two. Will this machine do that for me?

    • Mary Z Cox

      I haven’t even seen this machine–but I have an old Janome Horizon I bought a few years ago & any of the Janome embroidery machines could embroidery labels just fine. Heck–you can even program out simple labels on my Horizon–which is a quilting machine not meant for embroidery 🙂 I would like to have this 500e–but not really doing enough quilting or embroidery to justify such a beautiful machine. If you have the time & money–go for it–it will more than embroidery your labels & it is the most marvelous toy to have in your sewing or quilting studio. I wish I had it instead of the Brother 770 that I have. It runs just fine for simple projects & I was able to set it up and thread it because I’ve owned many computerized machines & know what to do–but the display is in gray & white & I prefer color screens for embroidery. Don’t worry about all that sizing jazz a ma tazz the other reviewer gets into–she is a seasoned pro that probably collects these machines & was hoping for more features where she can get in and combine & create her own designs–but there are lots of free lance designers out there who will sell you designs in several different sizes in the Jef format. You don’t want to resize more than 20% anyway or you have to do some fairly complicated stitch programing to get it right. You have to remember that none of these fancy machines are justifiable to the home hobbyist if you are one of those folks who have to justify fun with complexity. The only folks that can really afford them are ladies that have the spending money & just love to make beautiful things on state of the art machines. And they are worth it–its super fun and everyone in your family will just love the results.

  4. Debby

    Where can you find the tools on the Janome 500E. I have tryed to find them and can not. I just got one and tryed to find a place where they are kept but can not figure it out.

  5. Janelle

    I’m currently frustrated with the machine. Trying to use Floriani micro thread and it just won’t do it. Thread breaks every 10 or so stitches. Have tried different needles to no help. Repairman at the shop I got it from is only there once a month. I have only used the machine for about 7 months.

    • Vikky

      Floriani isn’t great thread. I used the few samples and all it did was break
      I purchased thread from amazon and I love it. I’ve had my machine since August.

      • Irma Carol

        I think that many machine embroidery designs can be combined in software, if not on the machine. It depends on the software. I’ve been using Briton Leap Embrilliance software and find it very user friendly. It can be purchased in a basic package (which is all I have) and if you’re interested in going further into digitizing it has several programs you can add. No I don’t have any affiliation with this company. I’ve spent a fortune on software over the years and found many software packages EXPENSIVE and very frustrating and ultimately sold or gave them away. I had a Janome 350E and traded it for another machine and I was sorry. The basic reason I didn’t like the 350E was that the hoop size was too small. I’ve just told my dealer that I want the Janome 500E and will be picking it up on Satrday. Except for the hoop size I liked the Janome 350E. I just like BIG designs. Mostly I want to do personalization or monograms for gifts and this should be the perfect machine.

    • Mary Z Cox

      This is an awesome little machine–buy good thread. I bought hundreds of spools of Robinson Anton embroidery thread and it works fine on both my Bernina & Brother embroidery machines.
      And I have alot of other high end threads that different manufactures gave me a a gift for buying this or that & it all works fine. In fact I think some of those spools hanging on the wall may be 15-20 years old–but when I put them on for a project–they embroider up fine–no breakage–look good. I think you can still buy those huge sets of Robinson Anton in groups of 100 & 200 spools with every color in the rainbow on those huge wooded spool displays and hang them on the wall in your studio & you’ll have enough until you kick the bucket 🙂 ps–I always buy aurefil for quilting on my Janome Horizon & it really is the best thread !

  6. Karen Zepecki

    I have tried many brands of thread from coats and Clark, mettler,Anton-Robinson to many others. The thread will break or fray 10 or so times in a 30 minute project. I have done everything I can including having it serviced for this problem. I have had the machine about 1 year. Any suggestions?

    • Irma Carol

      Try embroidery and or top stitching needles – use a new needle or every project. Make sure your tensions are correct. Hope this helps.

  7. ella srader

    does the machine do straight stitch,zigzag and other funtions or only embroidery


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